Thursday, May 30, 2024

Mineral Ridge trails reopen

| May 29, 2021 1:00 AM

The Bureau of Land Management recently reopened the Mineral Ridge trail system, following a monthlong closure to remove downed trees.

In order to prevent disease and bug infestations as well as recover the value of the downed timber, the BLM’s Coeur d’Alene Field Office conducted a small salvage timber sale at the Mineral Ridge site.

The operation focused on windblown trees but will also include addressing standing hazard trees that suffered damage during the storm or have been identified to be at risk of falling, causing a potential safety hazard to the public.

Mineral Ridge is a popular hiking trail with a loop of nearky 3 miles that offers great views of Wolf Lodge Bay and beyond.

As people enjoy the outdoors this holiday weekend, they are asked to remember that unauthorized trail usage or creating unauthorized trails increases the amount of damage that is occurring on Idaho Endowment Land.

According to the Idaho Department of Lands, "the actions of a single person going off designated trails may seem harmless, each time it happens the amount of ground that becomes compacted increases."

Endowment lands are different than other types of managed land: They were given to Idaho at statehood for the sole purpose of financially supporting specific beneficiaries, primarily Idaho schools. The Idaho Constitution requires endowment land to be managed to maximize revenue for the beneficiaries.

One of the biggest revenue sources for the beneficiaries is timber sales, which require careful forest management.

"For this resource to continue to thrive, trees must be able to grow. Unauthorized trails create a compacted surface on the forest floor, making tree growth on the trails impossible without restoration efforts," the IDL release read.